Colorado builders who want to do transit-oriented development (TOD) won’t be getting any legislative protections any time soon.
A bill that would have required homeowners to give builders a chance to repair any alleged construction defects at TODs has died in committee after an expected supporter said he wanted to wait for more information on the area’s housing stock.
SB-52, which was introduced by Colorado State Senator Mark Scheffel, was an attempt to address the re-emerging problem of construction defect lawsuits in the state. Building industry professionals say such lawsuits are frequently being filed against attached for-sale product such as townhomes and condos, which makes them reluctant to build such housing.
Amie Mayhew, CEO of the Colorado Association of Home Builders, says her group hasn’t given up. “The CAHB remains committed to finding a solution that will once again allow our members to build a multifamily for-sale product,” she says. Mayhew predicts another bill like SB-52 will be introduced during the next legislative session, in 2014.
By then, Colorado officials should have more data to help them with their decision. The Denver Regional Council of Governments is currently researching the housing mix in the Mile High metro area, but the results of that study won’t be ready until after the Colorado legislature adjourns in May.
While SB-52 may be dead for this year, the issue of who is going to build new transit-oriented housing remains very much alive for local officials and builders.
“The value of light rail and the new higher-density urbanism is extremely important to healthy economic development,” says Jim Gunning, mayor of Lone Tree, Colo., which is scheduled to receive a total of four light-rail stations. “Our conversations with corporations that are locating in Lone Tree, as well as those that are looking, [show that they] highly value light-rail access and walkable communities with newer, higher-density development. We have two new corporate developments in Lone Tree that are directly related to light-rail access.”